Banana berry loaf – yes, please

I’m always convincing my brain that banana bread is not the same as banana cake. But who am I fooling!

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Taking the classic banana bread up a notch, I often replace part of the sugar with maple syrup and cut the sweetness by adding some fresh strawberries. You could make this recipe the conventional way – keep the wet and dry ingredients separately, cream the butter and sugar, and fold in the eggs and flour alternatively in batches – or you could just throw everything into a large bowl, fold and bake. Really simple, ten-minute, no fuss recipe.

A tiny disclaimer is obligatory here: I’m totally pathetic with my icing skills. I never try because I suck so much (more than I suck at selfies). After taking these pictures, I was really uncertain whether I still wanted to do this post – but you know what, to hell with my putrid attempt at icing, I wanted to share this recipe that has been demolished at the breakfast table on so many weekends. So here goes!

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What you will need

Prep time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 45 to 60 minutes
Makes one large standard loaf

Ingredients
175 g unsalted butter, softened and chopped
225 g brown sugar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 medium or 2 large bananas, mashed
3 eggs
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
100 g fresh strawberries, chopped

For the icing
Full fat natural yoghurt, hung for 4 hours
2 tbsp maple syrup
Flaked almonds, toasted lightly with some butter and a pinch of cinnamon powder
Some fresh strawberries

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Method

Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease the loaf tin with butter and sprinkle some flour. Keep aside.

First, cream the sugar and butter in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Separate the egg whites from the yellows. Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form. Add the egg yellows to the beaten whites and whisk some more. Add the vanilla and whisk for a minute. Sift the flour with the baking powder and the cinnamon. Add the flour and the whisked eggs to the creamed sugar, alternating them; folding in gently to achieve a smooth batter without any lumps. Fold in the strawberries. Spoon carefully into the loaf tin (till three-fourths full) and transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

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Bake at 170°C for 45 to 60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the icing, add the maple syrup to the hung yoghurt and layer the loaf generously with the icing. Garnish with toasted almonds and some fresh berries.

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This Sunday brekkie showstopper is going to become your weekend tradition! Enjoy making it while the strawberries are still in season. Eat local, think global. Always.

Until next time, XOXO.

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